[Question] How much will local/​university groups benefit from targeted EA content creation?

When I re­flect back on my ex­pe­riences at South Bay EA, the one thing that would save us so much time (that we can then use for non-scal­able ac­tivi­ties like 1:1s) is if we had high qual­ity pre-made dis­cus­sion sheets.

(To be clear, this is still an on­go­ing prob­lem).

It takes us ~3-12 hours to make a typ­i­cal dis­cus­sion sheet for one meetup.

Naively, it would be re­ally helpful if CEA or a crowd­sourced group (eg, this fo­rum) worked on cre­at­ing high-qual­ity dis­cus­sion sheets that would save us 90% of the effort.

I could imag­ine other con­tent be­ing helpful as well, for ex­am­ple (“in­tro to EA” emails), event de­scrip­tions etc (though some of them are ma­te­rial you can eas­ily crib from other EA groups listed on meetup.com and Face­book).

Rea­sons against this be­ing par­tic­u­larly use­ful:

1. Hetero­gene­ity of EA groups’s needs: It might just be re­ally hard to pre­pare use­ful sheets for an “EA lo­cal group (or uni­ver­sity group)” in the ab­stract, since differ­ent lo­cal groups differ so much in knowl­edge of EA, de­mo­graphic com­po­si­tion, sched­ules, timing prefer­ences etc.

Ex. In South Bay, I’ve used ex­am­ples from tech to illus­trate cog­ni­tive bi­ases in our in­stru­men­tal ra­tio­nal­ity dis­cus­sions (I think this is rea­son­able since ~100% of peo­ple who come to our EA events in Sili­con Valley have a pass­ing fa­mil­iar­ity with tech). We also try to cater to peo­ple who have mod­er­ate fa­mil­iar­ity and in­ter­est in EA, rather than try to “hard sell” EA to an un­sym­pa­thetic au­di­ence, or be very use­ful to pro­fes­sional EAs (the lat­ter be­cause pro­fes­sional EAs rarely at­tend, rather than as a de­liber­ate choice).

There’s also a re­lated prob­lem where try­ing to serve an EA au­di­ence in the ab­stract might end up be­ing just worse than lo­cal groups cre­at­ing their own sheets and shar­ing knowl­edge, since there’s more feed­back from re­al­ity in the lat­ter ver­sion.

2. The pro­cess of do­ing con­tent cre­ation is ac­tu­ally re­ally good/​nec­es­sary to de­velop or­ga­nizer’s un­der­stand­ing. I definitely learned a lot from mak­ing sheets/​event in­tro­duc­tions, es­pe­cially in fields I had lit­tle prior knowl­edge in (eg, pop­u­la­tion ethics, moral un­cer­tainty, sys­tem­atized cre­ativity). If we had pre-made sheets, maybe we’ll have hor­rible illu­sions of trans­parency, and the or­ga­niz­ers will con­vey a lot of wrong in­for­ma­tion about the topic or EA to our mem­bers.

3. Adop­tion con­cerns Even if {CEA, this fo­rum} do end up cre­at­ing ma­te­rial that’s bet­ter than what 99% of groups can make for our­selves + save them 50-80% of the effort, it might still not be adopted and waste a lot of time.